The SA Military Academy in Saldanha is a military unit of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) and, as such, adheres to and practises military traditions, one of which saw it take up new unit colours.
Reporting on the colours change, Major Engela Meintjes writes: “Laying down of old unit colours is a significant moment for any unit, since it’s a symbol of the unit’s heritage, tradition and history” and represents the pride and loyalty of the officers who have served under them. “The old unit colours were a source of inspiration and motivation for generations of officers who graduated from the Academy over the past four decades.
“The decision to replace the old unit colours was not taken lightly.
“The reason was primarily due to deterioration over time and after a thorough consultation process new unit colours were designed to reflect the Military Academy’s current values and ethos while respecting its rich heritage and tradition. The disa (Western Cape’s flower symbol, also known as the Pride of Table Mountain) was kept at the centre of the colours with the shield and elephant tusks added to recognise the unit’s affiliation to its higher headquarters, Training Command. The slogan, Discendo Armemus (Arm yourself through), remains at the bottom.
“The new colours are a symbol of the Military Academy’s commitment to excellence, professionalism and service to the country. They represent the unit’s dedication to producing well-trained and disciplined officers ready to serve their country with honour and distinction.”
The change of colours parade in April “emphasised the importance placed on the unit’s values, namely dignity, integrity, service before self and accountability, which in turn will ensure the Academy continues to produce well-trained and disciplined officers”.
Three months ago, in July, the Academy commemorated the 60th anniversary of its class of 1963 – “the first group to successfully complete all three years of study at the academy, cementing their place in the history of the unit”.
The class of 1963, now known as MA63, were the first “living in” students. Previously, the Military Academy was situated in Pretoria and after partnering with Stellenbosch University, the students resided at the university itself, Meintjes reported. Forty-one members obtained degrees that year.